Local community fills Santa’s sleigh for Arizona Helping Hands event

Santa with the AHH elves and donors standing by the filled Sleigh (Photo by: Lucky Monster Creations)

Arizona Helping Hands held its third annual Fill Santa’s Sleigh event on Dec. 5 at its new facility at 3110 East Thunderbird Road in Phoenix.

According to a press release, participants were asked to bring toys for the 20th Annual Holiday Toy Drive. More than 200 attendees joined in festivities that included catered food by Sidewalk Noshers, dessert by the Cheesecake Factory as well as frosty beverages donated by Pourmasters.

Santa was on hand to accept toy donations that overflowed the AHH 20’ box truck, which was Santa’s Sleigh, described the release.

Randy Newman from Great Clips presents check to Arizona Helping Hands President/CEO Dan Shufelt and Founder Kathy Donaldson (Photo by: Lucky Monster Creations)

The evening also celebrated the 20th anniversary of the organization’s founding by Kathy and Judge Paul Donaldson with a testimonial by a foster family on the important work AHH does daily.

From beds and cribs to clothing, diapers, birthday gifts, back-to-school supplies and more, Arizona Helping Hands is the state’s largest provider of basic needs to the 15,000+ kids in the foster care system, the release said.

The AHH elves will use the donated toys and thousands more collected from local businesses, schools and service groups in the Holiday Toy Drive. On Dec. 14 and 15, more than 6,000 children will receive a toy package to place under the tree this year.

Also during the event, Randy Nelson presented a check from area Great Clips salons for $14,541, which was raised during a one-day benefit for the AHH Holiday Toy Drive. The funds were generated by a donation of $1 from every haircut on Nov. 17.

Toys are always needed to fill the requests at AHH during the holidays, as well as year-around for the Birthday Dreams program, the release added.

If interested in helping in various ways, or to learn more about the organization, go to azhelpinghands.org; contact AHH President Dan Shufelt at dshufelt@azhelpinghands.org.

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